The End of Social Networks
For a long time now I’ve been one of the few voices (if not the first) to publicly criticise the social network craze.
Much to my chagrin Blog Bloke reluctantly acquiesced and joined the major social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook and BlogCatalog for one reason only … to reserve my brand name before someone else tried to steal it.
That is the only reason why I did it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even bothered. I’ve never liked them from the beginning and I like them even less now because lately I’ve been noticing more and more social network spam.
I’m getting messages from people and groups trying to sell me something on the premise of wanting to be my friend. A lot of these social network groups are nothing more than a ruse for promoting online scams to pick my pocket and sell me something. Thanks so much for wanting to be my friend, but … I’ve also been noticing that my social network list of friends has been increasing even faster than subscribers to my blog newsfeed.
Well, although it’s flattering that they want to be my friend I would much rather they subscribe to my blog. Why? Because at least I know they are reading my content and will (hopefully) become a part my blog community instead of just trying to sell me something or being another cog in a social network site.
You see, a social network site is just that. It’s nothing more than a website trying to carve out an empire for itself and make money. Whereas my blogosphere is so much bigger than that, and without all the nonsense either.
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating — please spend most of your online time developing your real blog with a top level domain instead of helping to promote a corporate website. They are the ones who are reaping the reward — not you.
Social Networks are stealing your blog traffic from right under your nose and you don’t even realize it. If you think it will help you to find your long lost friend from high school, then by all means go for it. But don’t hold your breath for anything much beyond that. (By the way, I thought that was what Google was for).
The Social Network Fad Will Pass
Now getting back to the premise for this post. The End of Social Networks? We can only hope (notice the tongue in my cheek). I’m going out on a limb here and predict the demise of social networks unless they can effectively put an end to the online hustlers and improve privacy.
I won’t say when or how long it will take but as more pickpockets take over the social networks, most reasonable people will eventually become fed up and move on. Only the gullible will continue to be interested, or those who enjoy watching the shopping network and late night infomercials on TV.
When you buy a book or movie online–or make a political contribution–do you want that information automatically shared with the world on Facebook? Most people would call that a huge invasion of privacy. But recently, Facebook began doing just that. People across the country saw private purchases they made on other sites displayed on their Facebook News Feeds. Facebook encourages companies to get “word-of-mouth promotion for your business” to “millions” by using the feature that makes this happen. Sign the petition today… source.
As you can see the social networks are adding to the problem by exploiting the feeds.
Do you think this is happening by accident, or was it (just maybe) all part of the corporate plan? I’m betting on the latter.
Now aren’t you glad you expressed your undying love for you know who? Remember, everything that you say can and will be used against you. For those more discreet private messages, old school email or the telephone is still your best choice of communication.
Hopefully when everyone realizes what is really going on they will get back to their real blogs and not just move over to the next social network flavour of the month.
Perhaps over time we will see more blurring of the lines as blogs incorporate social networking technologies into their core functionality, so there will be less desire to waste one’s time on someone else’s site. We can only hope.
So let me leave you with this parting thought. Think of the blogosphere as the ultimate social network, and your real blog is your account. Enjoy!
I agree with both of them entirely, but I would take that thought even further and say who needs ‘em. Mark my words … social networks are a fad but real blogging is here to stay.